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One thing I love about living on the BC south coast is having four distinct seasons. I can’t envision living where it’s green and warm all year ’round. Granted, I don’t enjoy being too hot in summer, or too cold in winter (or constantly wet in spring and fall), but I love the variety each year. Just when the status quo begins to get tiresome, everything changes.
Last week, on one of our showery days, I discovered leaves were beginning to fall. Smatterings of gold and brown scattered over slick grass and shiny pavement.
My first reaction was surprise, followed by regret. How can the season of sunshine be ending so soon? I’m not ready to say goodbye to shorts and sandals weather, or the lazy, unscheduled days of summer. But what I want doesn’t much matter to Mother Nature. If change is due, change will come, and like it or not, it’s that time of the year.
I’ll adjust. Oh, I’ll probably grumble a little, but before long you’ll notice I’m raving about autumn’s changing colours and the fresh, crisp edge to its shortening days. Thanksgiving will come, and the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, which is always a highlight of my year. I love autumn!
Life is full of changes but there is also continuity. I like the saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” If we’re fixated on the closed door, however, we won’t notice the window opening.
In our church, an August day brought the devastating news that our pastor’s wife had suddenly died. Amid the shock and sadness, our Vacation Bible School needed to carry on. Now that September’s here, groups that were dormant through the summer must refocus and begin again. Where needed, other people are stepping in to take up tasks to which they will bring their own unique abilities. Ministry will continue, albeit in different ways within a hurting community. We will be more prayerful this fall, and hopefully more aware, more loving.
Changes happen. After the hurt begins to ease, a season of healing will come. God is always faithful. A new season always comes.
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God,
the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love
with those who love him and keep his commandments,
to a thousand generations.”
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I’m convinced He does … do it on purpose, that is. With the arrival of every spring season I comment constantly on the wonderful progression of new colours.
Winters on the southwest coast of Canada aren’t extreme, and, while my lawns may remain green throughout, full of moss as they are, deciduous branches everywhere are bare. The woods are stark, the marsh beige and lifeless. The underbrush along roadsides is brown with last summer’s dead grasses and ferns, and rain falls frequently, dampening everything to a grey sodden mess.
Out of the dirt and winter debris of our late January garden poke spiky little green tips from which nodding white snowdrops emerge. On our property they are always the first hint of the coming new season. They’re delicate … a quiet transition from the winter landscape. From then on, we start discovering a green haze that begins to spread through the woods and gardens. I love all the new greens in their fresh shades of lime and harlequin and chartreuse playing among the darker evergreens. Every spring I exclaim over how many different shades of green there are.
Suddenly I begin discovering splashes of non-green and white shades. Mostly yellows and pinks and purples. Hellebores and Daphne. Crocuses, Daffodils, Forsythia. Cherry blossoms and Magnolia. (Not all in my yard, you understand, but throughout the community.)
I’m convinced God intended this succession of colours and blooming times. It’s as if He knew we needed a gradual handover from bleakness to beauty, testing and tantalizing our senses with pastels before the bold and brash colours are ready to burst upon us.
Tulips and Iris, and the dependable Rhododendrons and Azaleas are just arriving now … later springtime surprises. It’s wonderful! God is much better at planning the seasonal colours than I am at planning a story. He’s such a well organized artist!
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The winter solstice happened this week. The shortest day of the year is now behind us.
We spent several hours on the road Monday, transitioning from the damp and balmy west coast into the brisk and snowy east Kootenays. There is no doubt we’ll be having a white Christmas.
As the sun slowly appeared over the mountain beside our daughter’s home, we marvelled once again at the exceptional beauty of God’s creation.
Outside the family room window there is a patio bordered by trees, and every day dozens of birds arrive, flitting from the branches to feast on what they obviously consider a gourmet granola meal that is always provided for them. On our first morning here I counted nine different species in less than an hour!
God provides for all of his creatures … these birds, and us. It’s Christmastime — in fact, today is “Christmas Eve Day” — and we’re full of praise and thankfulness for Him who was born this night to provide for us and our salvation.
The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
(I’ll be taking a break from blogging next week. I wish each of you a joy-filled Christmas, and a New Year filled with good health and many blessings.)
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